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KPI Archives - Poverty Child

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): What are they and why are they important?

For children living in poverty, their risk of experiencing trauma in their childhood is much greater than other children. They may be born into families that are dysfunctional, neglectful or abusive or alternatively face dangers on the streets. When we seek to measure Adverse Childhood Experiences, we can use them to understand how a child has suffered from trauma and what we can do about it.

What are Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)?

ACEs are a tool used to indicate the level of childhood trauma an individual has experienced. They are measured by asking respondents ten questions which each relate to a particular category of childhood trauma, such as abuse, neglect and household dysfunction. Each answer confirming the occurrence of a type of trauma is added up to give a score out of ten. As a person’s ACE score increases, they become more and more at-risk.

Why are they important?

It is important to look at the degree to which the children have experienced trauma in their childhood to understand the resulting negative impact on their mental and physical health. Research has found that those with an ACE score of four or more have a two to four times greater risk of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions, and an attempted suicide rate 12 times higher than individuals experiencing no childhood trauma. For those with ACE score of 6 or above, the attempted suicide rate increases to 46 times higher, and their life expectancy is reduced by up to 20 years.

How do they affect our work?

Our programme partner Fairplay is using risk of depression as a key indicator to measure progress of the work we’re co-funding. If you would like to find out more about our partnership project ‘Helping 100 Children At-Risk in Payatas, The Philippines’, please check out our work. As we continue to work with children living in poverty across the world, we hope to support those who have experienced trauma and create environments where these dangers are eliminated.

Sources:

  1. Fairplay For All Foundation (2018) Helping 100 Children At-Risk: How Much does Regular Sport, Nutrition, and Social Groups Improve the Well-being of Children in Payatas? Unpublished.
  2. TEDMED: How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime. Sep 2014.

 

Body Mass Index (BMI): What is it and why is it important?

Nutrition is a major problem for children living in poverty. Many do not have enough food and resort to eating whatever is available. For instance, scavenging for food from trash is commonplace. As a result, a healthy diet is a reality only for a lucky few. Therefore, it is necessary to measure the BMI of children living in poverty, so that any problems can be recognised and used to identify the best way to help them.

What is Body Mass Index (BMI)?

BMI is an indicator used to measure the ratio between someone’s weight and height and can be used to determine whether a person is a healthy weight, overweight or underweight. Unlike in adults, the healthy amount of body fat for a child changes with age and varies according to their gender. As a result, BMI measurements in children are always interpreted in relation to their age and gender.

Why is it important?

Since BMI gives an indication as to whether a child has healthy amount of body fat for their age and gender, it can be used to identify who is vulnerable to future health risks. Children who have too much or too little body fat for their age or gender are incredibly at-risk. They are likely to be stunted in both physical and mental development and can lose up to ten years on their life expectancy.

How does it affect our work?

Our programme partner Fairplay is using body mass index as a key indicator to measure progress of the work we’re co-funding. If you would like to find out more about our partnership project ‘Helping 100 Children At-Risk in Payatas, The Philippines’, please check out our work. We hope that through our work in Payatas and beyond we will be able to improve the BMI of children living in poverty across the world, so that they stay within the range that is ‘normal’ for their age and are not exposed to future physical and mental health risks.

Sources:

  1. Fairplay For All Foundation (2018) Helping 100 Children At-Risk: How Much does Regular Sport, Nutrition, and Social Groups Improve the Well-being of Children in Payatas? Unpublished.
  2. NHS UK: What is the body mass index (BMI)? Jul 2016.

Growth Mindset: What is it and why is it important?

A person’s mindset has a huge influence on the way they go about their daily life and their likelihood of success. For children living in poverty, a positive mindset can be an extremely important factor in helping them overcome the challenges they face. By understanding the two main mindsets an individual can have – a growth and a fixed mindset – we can use these to support vulnerable children and equip them better for their future.

What is Growth Mindset?

It is thought that there are two main types of mindset which people can have.

  • A fixed mindset – the belief that basic qualities, such as intelligence, creativity and talent, are essentially predetermined and fixed traits, meaning they cannot be improved much, if at all.
  • A growth mindset – the belief that these basic qualities can continue to develop over time through hard work, dedication, specific training and other improvements.

Whether an individual has a mainly fixed or growth mindset can be tested by giving them various statements, and asking them the extent to which they agree or disagree. These results are then coded and added up to produce a score out of 60.

Why is it important?

A growth mindset is an extremely valuable skill for children to have, as it can give them the motivation to work hard and dedication to improve their mental and physical abilities. An improvement in the growth mindset of the children could therefore result in extremely positive outcomes in their emotional, physical, financial and academic lives.

How does it affect our work?

Our programme partner Fairplay is using growth mindset as a key indicator to measure progress of the work we’re co-funding. If you would like to find out more about our partnership project ‘Helping 100 Children At-Risk in Payatas, The Philippines’, please check out our work. As we continue to support children living in poverty across the world, we hope that we can encourage positive thinking and growth mindsets which set these children up for future success.

Sources:

  1. Fairplay For All Foundation (2018) Helping 100 Children At-Risk: How Much does Regular Sport, Nutrition, and Social Groups Improve the Well-being of Children in Payatas? Unpublished.
  2. The Guardian: Research every teacher should know: growth mindset. Jan 2018

 

Risk of Depression: What is it and why is it important?

Children living in poverty are exposed to challenging situations including violence, illness and death, which others their age have not yet experienced. This can have a huge impact on their mental health, especially on their likelihood of developing disorders such as anxiety, depression and bipolar. By looking at the risk of depression in children, we can identify how they are suffering and use targeted interventions to help improve their mental health.

What is risk of depression?

Depression is a disorder that severely impacts the daily lives of individuals. Although it is considered a mental disorder, it also has a huge effect on someone’s physical health and social interactions. Some of the most common symptoms include being unable to experience pleasure, episodes of irritability, anxiety and fear. Changes in appetite, body weight and sleep patterns can occur also. The causes of depression are complex, ranging from genetics to chemical imbalances, medical problems, culture and stress from ongoing, recent or past events.

One way to measure the risk of depression in children is using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies – Depression Child (CES-DC) test. This involves asking children 20 questions about what they have felt or experienced in the last seven days. These answers are scored on a scale of zero to three and then added up to produce a total score. Overall, a higher total test score indicates a greater risk of depression for a child.

How does it affect our work?

Our programme partner Fairplay is using risk of depression as a key indicator to measure progress of the work we’re co-funding. If you would like to find out more about our partnership project ‘Helping 100 Children At-Risk in Payatas, The Philippines’, please check out our work. Depression is a very life-limiting condition for children to experience at a young age. We hope that, by giving positive opportunities to children living in poverty across the world, we can improve life for those who are most at-risk.

Sources:

  1. Fairplay For All Foundation (2018) Helping 100 Children At-Risk: How Much does Regular Sport, Nutrition, and Social Groups Improve the Well-being of Children in Payatas? Unpublished.
  2. Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale

Learned Optimism (LO): What is it and why is it important?

The challenges children living in poverty face in their everyday lives can have a huge impact on the way they think about their experiences. Having encountered difficult situations at a young age, they are more likely think pessimistically and have a low self-esteem. We can use Learned Optimism to measure this and, consequently, decide on ways to help overcome these problems.

What is Learned Optimism (LO)?

LO measures the degree to which people are pessimistic or optimistic about their experiences and what impact this has on them long-term. It is typically tested by presenting people with a series of scenarios and asking them to choose the option they are most likely to think. This test is relatively complex and is therefore often only suitable for older children and adults, such as those aged 13 and above.

Why it is important?

LO can be used to predict a child’s motivation, level of self-esteem and willingness to use their abilities in good or bad situations. This has a huge impact on their likelihood of under- or over-performing, as those with an optimistic view on situations often do better than expected and those with a pessimistic view do worse. Pessimism can also have a severe effect of a person’s mental health, especially on their tendency to experience depression.

How does it affect our work?

Our programme partner Fairplay is using learned optimism as a key indicator to measure progress of the work we’re co-funding. If you would like to find out more about our partnership project ‘Helping 100 Children At-Risk in Payatas, The Philippines’, please check out our work. We hope that, through interventions that help children to think positively and build their self-esteem, we can continue to improve the quality of lives of those living in poverty across the world.

Sources:

Fairplay For All Foundation (2018) Helping 100 Children At-Risk: How Much does Regular Sport, Nutrition, and Social Groups Improve the Well-being of Children in Payatas? Unpublished.